Local and national gas companies have a responsibility to ensure gas lines are properly installed and maintained. Only by complying with industry safety standards can gas companies ensure that people, homes, and businesses are protected.
If you have suffered a gas explosion and think you may be in need of a gas explosion attorney, our Minneapolis team may be able to help.
Case Quick Facts
There have been 832 reported incidents of gas explosions from 1997–2016. This comes to an average of 42 incidents per year.
A Recent Example of a Gas Explosion Incident
On August 2, 2017, Minnehaha Academy – a school in Minneapolis, Minnesota – experienced a horrible gas explosion that killed two people and injured at least nine other people. The source of this explosion is still being investigated. If you or a loved one were involved in this tragedy, GoldenbergLaw has important information to share with you. Feel free to contact us.
Injuries and Fatalities
From 1997–2016, there were 1,301 reported gas explosion injuries. This averages out to 65 injuries per year.
The following injuries have been documented by OSHA and the CSPA following gas explosions:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Burn injury
- Toxic chemical exposure
Additionally, from 1997–2016, there were 310 fatalities caused by gas explosions. That’s an average of 16 fatalities per year.
Gas Explosion Liability
When a gas explosion occurs, there are many different parties that could be liable for injuries caused by the incident. Sometimes, the sequence of events leading to a gas explosion can lead to more than one liable party. Usually, if there is a leak in a gas line, the utility company responsible for its maintenance will be liable for any injuries caused by an explosion. A city government could also be held responsible for failure to inspect and maintain pipelines. If the gas explosion is the result of a defective household appliance, then liability will fall on the manufacturer of the device.
GoldenbergLaw Can Help
Gas explosions can cause physical, financial, and emotional damage. If you are a victim of a gas explosion, contact GoldenbergLaw today. We have a team of experienced lawyers that will get you the compensation that you deserve. This experience doesn’t need to be more traumatic than it already has been. Contact us today.
If you want to talk to one of our gas line explosion attorneys in Minneapolis, reach out today to receive a free consultation. There is only ever a charge if you win your case.
“Karrie” was a young musician living in a home in St. Paul, Minnesota. One day, her sewer backed up and she called a local company to come out and fix the issue. As is common, the company used a long rooter to go into the sewer pipe and clear any blockages. Shortly thereafter, there was a gas smell, and then the entire house exploded into flames. Karrie was rushed to the hospital with injuries, and she lost all of her possessions — including all of her musical compositions. Her house was destroyed.
Karrie hired GoldenbergLaw, and we immediately investigated this tragedy. After retaining a national expert, we found out the gas company had installed a gas line through Karrie’s sewer line. This is called a cross bore. When the rooter hit it, the gas line leaked and caused the explosion. After extensive litigation, we also discovered that this had happened before. The state then required the gas company to find and repair every one of these cross bores. We reached a confidential settlement for Karrie, and she was able to get on with her life despite her injuries.
Gas Leak Safety
Despite rules and regulations, gas explosions are still all too common. Gas is a dangerous compound that can explode at any time. If you smell gas, get away from it and call for help. Xcel Energy provides these three tips for recognizing gas leaks:
Smell: Since natural gas is odorless, gas companies add a chemical that smells like rotten eggs to gas to make it easier to identify a gas leak.
Hear: When gas leaves a damaged or poorly maintained pipe, it often creates a hissing sound as it leaves the pipe.
See: The pressure from the gas leaving the pipe can create a windy effect on plants or bushes around the leak.
Common Causes of Gas Explosions
Weak Pipeline Infrastructure
Over time gas line pipes become corroded, they are nicked by construction crews, and sometimes poorly monitored and maintained. Weak pipeline infrastructure can spell disaster if a pipeline were to leak while those in charge of overseeing pipeline maintenance were not doing their job.
Home Gas and Propane Explosions
Gas and Propane accidents can occur with defective connectors, valves, leaking pipes or hoses, and negligent installation and maintenance.
Construction Errors and Cross Boring
Despite precautionary measures, construction errors continue to cause gas explosion accidents. If a pipeline is broken, gas leaks can occur. Even a nick in a pipeline can weaken the infrastructure and increase the likelihood of gas leaks down the road.
The technique of cross boring does involve digging, using visual aids, or examining current underlying sewage lines. Rather, cross boring occurs when gas pipelines are installed blindly, with complete understanding that the pipelines could cross sewer lines. When a gas pipeline is drilled into an existing sewer line or when a gas line is ruptured, explosions can occur.